Gilly was born in February, 1987. She grew up in Dundee, Scotland. After her school years, she graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. She won the drawing prize in first year, before going on to exhibit her work during her undergraduate years in The White Gallery, Dundee, local restaurants, and Art Exposure gallery in Glasgow. In her degree year, Gilly's work featured in The List, a publication of the UK's arts and entertainment. She was also chosen for an exhibiting contract and show, 'New Generation,' with The Compass Gallery, Glasgow.
After her degree, Gilly went straight to Glasgow to complete a PGDE in Secondary Art and Design Education. She has since enjoyed a happy and fulfilling career teaching Art and Design in several schools. Nurturing her pupils' journeys and seeing their success was both fulfilling and rewarding.
In March 2020, at 33 years old, after a long misdiagnosis, Gilly was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. She went through life-
saving surgery, which took her fertility. During her recovery, Gilly threw herself back into creating art, as a means of escapism, and with renewed meaning. She produced many pieces of family members, symbolising happy everyday scenes, which allowed her to escape the trauma of her diagnosis, fertility loss, chemotherapy, and bumpy road of recovery. In December 2020 she was admitted to hospital, during recovery, and began a new 'Portraits and Tales from a Hospital Bed' series, featuring the wonderful NHS people who she met along the way, and wanted to honour and thank with a gift of their own portrait in the hospital.